First Insights: Deep Dive AI Podcast

A little over five weeks ago, we started exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts Open Source software, from developers to businesses to the rest of us. 

AI systems are so complex that concepts like “program” or “source code” in the Open Source Definition are challenged in new and surprising ways. The Deep Dive event consists of three parts, or Fathoms.

We hope you’ll check out the Fathom I podcast series – here’s a quick recap. Listen to the episodes and get ready for Fathom II: registration is open.

Pamela Chestek, an Open Source lawyer, Chair of the OSI License Committee, and OSI Board member wades into the legal compexities in “Copyright, selfie monkeys, the hand of God” in Episode 1

Alek Tarkowski, Strategy Director of Open Future Foundation, delves into AI’s black box problem with issues security, safety, privacy, and basic human rights in Episode 2.  He unpacks some foundational regulatory updates in this space and how activists and the industry can find themselves at odds when debating policy.  

In Episode 3 “When Hackers Take on AI: Sci-fi – or the Future?” we talk to Connor Leahy of Eleuther AI co-founder, a grassroots collective of researchers working on Open Source AI research. Leahy elaborates on some of the technical problems that hackers and independent researchers face and the creativity required to solve them. True to the title, we also explore a few dystopian scenarios. 

Ethics come into clear view in Episode 4 with David Gray Widder, currently working on a Ph.D. at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Widder shares insights from his research and breaks down the notions of technological inevitability and technological neutrality.

Last up – but not least – Mo Zhou, a postdoc AI researcher at Johns Hopkins University and a Debian volunteer in Episode 5. He looks at how the key components of AI systems and how those components by their very nature complicate the idea of a truly Open Source AI software.

What’s the big takeaway from the series? That the Open Source community has a lot of work to do around this seismic technology. 

Join us for in October for Fathom II to further dissect the issues posed by AI systems to the Open Source communities and society as a whole.

Stefano Maffulli
Executive Director, OSI

Discuss this and other topics during OSI’s informal office hours on Fridays.

In this month’s Open Source Initiative Newsletter:

How to make app stores friendly to Open Source

Microsoft recently seemed to propose that Open Source software didn’t belong in the Windows app store. Excuse me? Fortunately Microsoft pulled back from its proposals to prevent communities recouping their costs, but it raises the whole issue of maintaining apps in “walled garden” app stores. Read more from OSI Standards and Policy Director Simon Phipps on his thoughts on the work needed to place apps in app stores and its impact on Open Source communities.

Episodes 1-5 of our Deep Dive AI podcast series are now available

OSI dives deep into the topics shaping the future of open source business, ethics and practice with a new kind of event. We’ll help OSI stakeholders frame a conversation to discover what’s acceptable for AI systems to be “Open Source.” The five episodes cover issues of copyright, how independent hackers are creating powerful AI models, what’s the status of regulations of AI in Europe, what are the ethical challenges posed by uncontrolled AI software and what components are important for AI, with an eye on hardware and drivers.  

You can listen to all five episodes now:

Episode 1: Copyright, selfie monkeys, the hand of God. Featuring guest Pamela Chestek

Episode 2: Solving for AI’s black box problem. Featuring guest Alek Tarkowski

Episode 3: When hackers take on AI: Sci-fi – or the future? Featuring guest Connor Leahy

Episode 4: Building creative restrictions to curb AI abuse. Featuring guest David Gray Widder

Episode 5: Why Debian won’t distribute AI models any time soonNuts & Botls: What’s inside AI? Featuring guest Mo Zhou

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | PocketCasts | Spotify | RSS

Did the US Treasury censor code or illegal actions?

As is well-documented elsewhere, the US Government has chosen to apply financial sanctions to the Tornado Cash project.

This is not the first action the US Treasury has taken against use of a cryptocurrency mixer. It’s a clone of the sanctions applied to in May which was clearly responding to money laundering by North Korea. That case was clearly an action against an entity. Our Director of Standards and Policy dives further into this topic here.

Join us at All Things Open

All Things Open 2022 – Registration Now Open! The largest open source/tech/web conference on the U.S. east coast comes back to downtown Raleigh October 30 – November 2. More than 150 speakers and sessions will be featured, including some of the most influential technologists and companies in the world. Conference and registration details here.

We are looking for volunteers to help man the OSI booth at this event. If you’re interested in volunteering please contact for more information.

OSI in the news

In case you missed it, the OSI was featured in this article:

And a huge shoutout to all of our new and renewing sponsors

Are you interested in sponsoring or partnering with the OSI? Please see our Sponsorship ProspectusContact us to find out more about how your organization can promote open source development, communities and software.